Module Identifier BS22410  
Academic Year 2001/2002  
Co-ordinator Dr Peter Brophy  
Semester Semester 2  
Other staff Dr Conor Caffrey, Dr Richard Kemp, Dr Rodney Turner, Dr Robert Wootton  
Pre-Requisite BS11410  
Course delivery Lecture   15 Hours  
  Practical   16 Hours (4 x 4 hours)  
Assessment Practical exercise   Assessed dissections and interpretation of practicals   30%  
  Exam   2 Hours One 2-hour theory paper   70%  
  Resit assessment   2 Hours One 2-hour theory paper (plus resubmission of failed coursework or an alternative)    

Aims and objectives

The module will provide the student via a series of integrated lectures and practical sessions an understanding of the comparative structure and function of the main organ systems in vertebrates.


The lectures start with an introduction to histology and a review of vertebrate tissues and integuments. The lectures subsequently focus on the functioning of key vertebrate systems: osmoregulation and excretion (in fresh-water, marine and terrestrial vertebrates), respiration and circulation (in gills and air-breathing fish and in tetrapods), movement (in aquatic and terrestrial vertebrates; flight in birds and bats), feeding and digestion (variations in digestive system design), sense organs neuroendocrine systems and reproductive systems.   

The practical sessions start with a survey of comparative vertebrate histology, investigating function at the microscopic level in vertebrate tissues and organs. The other practical classes involve dissections of two vertebrate `types' (dogfish and mouse) and are linked to interpretation of the functioning of the heart and anterior circulatory system via diagrams illustrating system function.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the module students will

Reading Lists

** Multiple Copies In Hugh Owen
Pough, F.H., Janis, C.M. & Heiser, J.B.. (1999) Vertebrate life. 5th. Prenitce-Hall International.